Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin, a highly addictive opiate made from opium, is known for its euphoric effects. Binding to opioid receptors in the brain, heroin alters heart rate, energy levels, and breathing, in addition to other bodily functions. Between 2015 and 2016, nearly 1 million American adults reported using heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In 2019, 72,000 people died from opioid overdoses, and following the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, heroin overdoses have increased 13% – 30% in certain cities. In order to curb the number of lives lost to heroin addiction, it’s important for people suffering from heroin addiction to receive proper medical care with heroin addiction treatment.

Heroin Side Effects

Heroin addiction has many moderate to severe side effects that impact physical and mental health. Additionally, an IV heroin user poses a high risk for contracting contagious blood diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. Likewise, all heroin abuse has a high risk of overdose. In 2018, over 67,000 reported people died of a drug overdose- roughly 70% of all U.S. overdose deaths involved heroin (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Heroin’s side effects are physically and emotionally taxing on the body. While most moderate side effects take place during drug abuse, the more severe side effects occur during and after withdrawals.

Moderate side effects of heroin addiction:

  • Dry mouth
  • Flushed skin
  • Heavy limbs
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Itchy/Restless
  • Impaired judgment

The moderate side effects of heroin addiction usually subside after about a week, although the process is extremely uncomfortable without medical assistance. People detoxing from heroin in and outside of heroin addiction treatment most commonly experience nausea, vomiting, and itching. In addition, feelings of fatigue often arise despite the onset of insomnia.

Severe side effects of heroin addiction:

  • Insomnia
  • Vascular complications
  • Coronary complications
  • Lung complications
  • Gastrointestinal complications
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Depression
  • Anhedonia
  • Debilitating fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts

To recover from heroin addiction, treatment is essential. Without the medical supervision and assistance a certified and accredited detox facility provides, withdrawal from heroin and other opiates may prove to be severe.

Royal Life Centers’ heroin addiction treatment program is committed to providing the safest, most effective medication-assisted heroin detox, followed by carefully structured, individualized medical regimens, an intensive therapy program, and extensive aftercare options.

The physical dependence on heroin has the potential to be the biggest roadblock to or the biggest motivation for treatment.

Signs of Heroin Abuse

Once you understand the dangers of heroin addiction, the truth has the potential to be the biggest motivation for treatment. However, in order to begin your recovery journey within heroin addiction treatment, you must know the signs of heroin abuse.

Signs of Heroin abuse:

  • Planning activities around heroin use
  • Fixating on acquiring and using heroin
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors
  • Prioritizing heroin
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities
  • Lying or stealing to obtain heroin
  • Heroin withdrawal
  • Heroin cravings

If you recognize any of these signs of heroin abuse in yourself or others, seek out medical help to safely detox. Heroin addiction treatment is unparalleled in its importance for those struggling with heroin. The fact of the matter is most heroin abusers can’t recover from their addiction without professional intervention and continued heroin addiction treatment. Aside from the fact that heroin is illegal and highly addictive, heroin abuse can be fatal due to overdose risks.

In fact, the likelihood of an overdose or deadly complication due to heroin is more common than most people think. In fact, infections and diseases transmitted through IVs, heart attacks, lung failure, and strokes are all associated with heroin addiction.

Therefore, it is vital for those abusing heroin to participate in heroin addiction treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab to successfully recover.

Heroin Addiction Treatment Process

For someone struggling with an addiction to heroin, entering into rehab will save their life. Medical detox is the first step in removing addiction from a person’s life. Detox cleanses the body of drugs and toxins in order to begin the process of physical recovery. From there, entering into a residential inpatient program enables you to heal emotionally. Medical care offered in heroin addiction treatment should be continued through a partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient setting in order to receive the best chances for continued recovery. Indeed, inpatient programs are the next crucial step in healing yourself from addiction.

Eliminating outside distractions allows guests to completely focus on themselves and their recovery. It is here that the true underlying causes of heroin addiction are revealed. Those who only stop using heroin, without looking into why they use heroin, will almost always return to drug use. During treatment, guests have highly structured schedules that will include intensive therapy, support groups, and activities.

Addiction Treatment Timeline

The total length of treatment can vary, but most heroin rehab programs last anywhere between 30-90 days. Additionally, quality programs offer a continuum of care with a gradual step-down process. The first step down from residential inpatient is usually a partial hospitalization program (PHP). Guests have much more freedom at this level of care but are still held to a high level of personal responsibility. Intensive outpatient follows, loosening restrictions even further, yet maintaining accountability.

Aftercare Program

One of the best things a newly sober heroin user can do for themselves is commit to an aftercare program. Continuing to live with others who will keep you accountable is a strong motivator to remain sober. Additionally, regular drug testing and nightly curfews are great ways to keep you on the right track.

Royal Life Centers

Following medical detox at Royal Life Centers, guests will begin a comprehensive, collaborative approach to heroin addiction treatment designed to support physical and mental wellness and promote a lasting, sober lifestyle. Our addiction specialists, from our therapists and case managers to our facility staff, are dedicated to providing the best in care and support. Our holistic, evidence-based approach to psychotherapy incorporates individual and group sessions and activity, movement, and adventure therapies into one program that treats mind, body, and spirit.

Guests may begin their recovery journey in our residential inpatient program and continue our heroin addiction treatment through PHP, IOP, OP, and sober living residences. At Royal Life Centers, the guest is always our top priority, and we consistently do all we can to effect lasting change, so that they might continue to lead healthy, sober lives long after they have left our care.

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